Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesWhen I think back to joys of my childhood some of my earliest thoughts of happiness revolve around family and sports, but quite honestly movies and comics.  Yep!  As a child, I had one wild imagination growing up and with no nearby childhood friends to play with I had to find ways to occupy my time and keep myself busy.  I swear I rehearsed that lightsaber duel as Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader in the Empire Strikes Back almost daily.  However, I digress because we are not here to talk Star Wars, but that of Ninja Turtles.  So remember, just five sentences ago I mentioned the word comics?  Yes!  Besides Groo, I can still remember those rated-R, crisp, black and white pages of those early Mirage Studios issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  That was 1984!  A lot has happened in the world of the four turtles since then, but possibly none more revolutionary than the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil in this newest onscreen reboot by Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes.


I guess you can appropriately call this reboot of TMNT a science-fiction action film because of the infused subject matter in the screenplay.  It’s obviously based on the same premise of the original Laird and Eastman characters and whatnot with the sole exception that this one features The Transformer‘s Megan Fox and those thumbs everyone loves plus a heavy helping of CGI to go along with all of that.  It’s helmed by Jonathan Liebesman, who’s no stranger to action films, and includes other likeable stars such as Johnny Knoxville, Jeremy Howard, Alan Ritchson, William Fichtner, Will Arnett and more!  So if you are one of those who judges a book by its cover, then going into TMNT doesn’t look so bad, but how’s the inners read?!  That’s the question of the hour.  So let’s tackle that next!

Cowabunga!  Let me pull the proverbial cat out of my make believe bag and declare that I had a hella good, fun time with this one, even after a second viewing now that it’s hitting the Blu-ray format.  While the action might be a little extreme for the young Nickelodeon audiences, rest assured even though it has Michael Bay’s name loosely attached to it, absent are all the boobs and balls remarks of the crappy Transformers series.  It’s also void of any swearing too.  After playing The Last of Us Remastered as of late I can’t tell you how refreshing that is.  And best of all…believe it or not…Megan Fox ain’t that bad in it either!  The chemistry between Arnett and her character’s works pretty well for the most part onscreen for me, but we’ll talk about that in a moment.  For now, I want to talk story.

While it’s a bit generic, and I’m not going to say it’s at all as impressive as this year’s Guardians was, I will concede to rate it as “above average” and quite frankly much better than I ever expected it to be.  Could it have been that my expectations about this were too low?  Maybe.  However, that’s what the second viewing on Blu-ray proved for me.  It passed its test.  And while it’s still a far cry from the original b&w comic series of my youth, it was nice to see some homage and nostalgia mixed in with modern times and of course technology.  It’s also the first time you will ever hear me mutter the words that by golly I hope there’s a sequel to this TMNT film.  So yeah…it’s safe to say at the absolute minimum I found it both enjoyable, fun and quite the action pleaser when it wanted to be.

Since I’m not the biggest fan of the first three TMNT films. I had my reservations when this one was announced, especially knowing that Nickolodeon held the rights to the property.  I must admit that I didn’t exactly do cartwheels over the news.  I was excited to see Fox back within a feature film in a starring role, but my only glimmer of hope was maybe the CGI of nowadays could do a TMNT movie justice.  Thankfully, my wish came true on both accords.  And let’s face it, all those critics bashing this movie are either hateful for two reasons: Megan Fox got casted in it as the beloved April O’Neil or the fact that this Nickolodeon property already had three go arounds before and what more is there to offer because we all know the same story by now.

On the Fox front, let’s be honest with ourselves.  She is not the main reason that the second Transformers film sucked.  I could go on and on about all the problems there.  Don’t even get me started.  So having been a fan of Fox’s in Jennifer’s Body, I was eager to see her in another starring role outside of Passion Play.  God!  Want to talk about an awful movie?  However, it’s all the naysayers out there that are killing me in regards to the generic story template this movie takes.  It’s a summer blockbuster based on a kid’s show that’s been told over and over!  Get over it!  No matter how you slice, you can’t tell me you did not crack a smile at least once during this, can you?

The story is simple.  First of all, it’s an origin story told with a slightly different twist that intertwines the characters, animals and humans, which I normally might not buy into on any other productions, but for some reason or another it worked rather well for me here.  Maybe it’s just because after three failed attempts I just wanted to see a TMNT movie I would be proud to own on Blu-ray and of course, want to watch it again.  I also mentioned how much I loved the playful chemistry between Fox and Arnett already, but I did not talk baddies yet so let’s do that.  There’s the Shredder!  And I’m going to stop there.  LOL.  To talk about the evil characters and what actors do what would be venturing into spoiler territory and homey don’t play that.

The trailer for this film promised me fun and that’s what I had.  Like a Ghost Rider film to most fans, I didn’t take the plot too seriously and it’s nothing more than your average run of the mill superhero venture, but nevertheless it’s a good time to be had and if you’re okay with your kids witnessing some fast ninja violence, then there’s nothing to fear here.  It’s a clean action adventure for you and your family to enjoy void of any obscenities or curse words that seem so prevalent in today’s PG-13 troupe.  And the CGI of the turtles (they did not look as stupid as I initially thought they did in the trailer) and the fluidity of the action sequences aren’t too shabby either.  So cowabunga!  Bring on Rocksteady and Bebop next please!  I’m ready to be shellshocked!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)


Quite honestly, this is one of the finest looking Blu-ray presentations I have seen all year long.  It’s razor sharp, but don’t take my blanket sentence as final word, read on for more insight as to why I feel the way I do about the video here.

  • Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Size: 50GB Dual Layer
  • Clarity/Detail:  As I said up above already, this is one of the clearest, crispest and sharpest Blu-ray presentations I have seen all year long.  The clarity and detail shellshocked me as you can see every freckle and birthmark on Megan Fox, cracks in the sidewalks, individual beads of rain and intricacy in just about everything else such as the trinkets that adorn the turtles’ outfits.
  • Depth:  Since this was made for 3D the three-dimensional pop even on this 2D Blu-ray presentation is simply amazing.  The long and wide shots employed throughout really open up NYC.
  • Black Levels:  The black levels are deep and inky like just out of a comic book.
  • Color Reproduction:  Like the different, but brightly colored masks the turtles all wear, the colors throughout here are al in-your-facel loud, bold and vivacious.
  • Flesh Tones:  The skin tones are all natural looking and accurate throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts:  I couldn’t find any blemishes, signs of debris, noise or artifacts in the prevention.  Therefore, everything is cowabunga perfect!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)


This one has a Dolby Atmos 7.1 presentation!  Need I even say anymore about the audio here on this Paramount Blu-ray release?  It’s t1ts!  (Just a clarification…balls means bad and t1ts translates to remarkably awesome)

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Audio Description
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dynamics:  The dynamics in this one, like the video presentation up above, were also cowabunga good.  The score was moving, triumphant and thematic filling your viewing room with bliss and hope while the onscreen action was perfectly balanced to never drown any of the dialogue out either.  From the clanking of the weapons together to the gentle sounds of the rain, things just felt authentic and real, a little top heavy at times, but not enough to ding it for those few moments.  Sounds weird using the word “real” to describe a CG laden TMNT movie huh?
  • Low Frequency Extension:  Equally impressive was the LFE channel throughout here.  My sub’s green light never went off.  Every punch, thud and kick was met with sheer veracity here, or faithfulness to the lay person who don’t posses my keen vernacular.
  • Surround Sound Presentation:  The score’s swirling introduction is one thing, but the big bold action pieces are another altogether separate.  I’ll use this word again when I say the “swirling” action immerses you here.  And then there’s one of  my favorite comedic scenes where the turtles were youngsters and Gwen Stefani’s “Holdback Girl” was pumping from the rears.  Classic!
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  The dialogue is all loud, clear and intelligible here.  I have no complaints.  Not even the many action sequences drowned things out here.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which arrives on the Blu-ray format courtesy of Paramount, includes explorations of the Turtles’ latest incarnations and their sensational appearance in 3D, an extended ending, a look at the making of the hit theme song “Shell Shocked,” along with the music video and much more.  Best of all for me, the mobile movie junkie, there’s a redemption code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy of the feature film, plus a DVD too just in case I ever have kids and get stuck with that much dreaded mini-van.  So let’s take a closer look behind the shell at all the extras here.

  • Digital Reality (HD, 17:56) – Jonathan Liebesman talks about his fondness of the original comics and how he really wanted the turtles to be bada$$ here.  We are guided through how the turtles have been updated with technology in modern times and how important getting the performances really are to Jonathan.  The shoots relied very heavily upon earlier rendered pre-vis shots, which we see some of those here.  Amazing stuff!  He defines what motion capture really means, an excellent explanation of it in my opinion in case you’re virgin to all of this (don’t know how he can be).  We see the beautiful Fox interacting with the motion capture artists on set.  Jonathan goes on to explain how the CG world of today now means the turtles can be unlimited in all their actions.  It was amazing to see each of the motion capture artist’s faces had two HD cameras filming them and 180 dots to capture all the motion, including tongue.  LOL.  By the way, this is a really cool extra, probably the best one of the bunch.  You get to see the entire team of people needed to bring these 2014 turtles to life.
  • In Your Face! The Turtles in 3D (HD, 4:23) – There’s an option that you need to select in order to watch this extra in 2D or 3D.  How cool is that?  This one is obviously about the use of 3D employed in the making of this film and how it was done, most notably the objects protruding out at you from time-to-time and the long, wider shots utilized too.
  • It Ain’t Easy Being Green  (HD, 6:47) – The actors all talk about their favorite turtles and memories of the franchise from their childhood.  They also discuss the shoot in NYC and the difficulties of the shoot as well.  Wait until you see the real life lair in the sewers the filmmakers built for this.
  • Evolutionary Mash-Up (HD, 14:59) – This one is dun…dun…da…a documentary on the evolution of turtles mixed with film footage couple with the combination of ninjas and turtles.  Interesting, huh?
  • Turtle Rock (HD, 5:37) – The film’s composer, Brian Tyler, who’s also a huge childhood fan of TMNT talks about how he started creating the music for this movie way before it was even shot.  He also discusses how he wanted a big orchestra sound and his John Williams inspired thematic writing style he employed throughout the creation of all the music.
  • Extended Ending (HD, :46) – This one is dumb
  • “Shell Shocked” Music Video (HD, 3:27) –  This one is exactly what the name suggests, the music video for “Shell Shocked” by Juicy J, Moxie, Ty dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa.
  • Making of “Shell Shocked” (HD, 1:31) – While we see some behind-the-scenes footage I wouldn’t necessarily call this a full blown making of with its short runtime.  Basically all we learn from Wiz Khalifa is that he’s a big TMNT fan.
  • Previews (HD) – Here you’ll find trailers for Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hercules and Interstellar.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)


The first Blu-ray review of this title dropped on Blu-ray.com yesterday and I want to call attention to one quote I pulled from it over here.  The quote is “Viewers that disliked Bay’s Transformers films (Bay produced this movie) will probably find Ninja Turtles equally unpalatable”  I disagree with this statement.  I disliked this years Transformers movie very much, but I managed to have a blast with this Turtles film, even more so the second time around.  Sure it’s not an Oscar winning movie, but it delivered upon what it promised me from the get go, outrageous action sequences, comedy, mayhem, pizza and Megan Fox.  On top of all that this Blu-ray review has reference quality audio and video presentations, easily one of the finest transfers this year, and some cool extras to boot including a Digital Copy.  Now if you can’t have fun with this one, I’m sorry, but I’ll take this any day over the rubber suit ones of the past.  Cowabunga dudes!  This is my 200th professional Blu-ray review!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Parties It Up on Blu-ray 12/16!

Cowabunga Dude!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu-ray


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Why are there no pictures of you wearing the masks?!

  2. Brian White

    Honestly Kori and I almost did just that. I’m sorry to disappoint. As I wounded down writing the summary I realized this was my 200th Blu-ray review and I did nothing special in it. The masks would have been a nice added touch.

  3. Brandon Peters

    Surprisingly, the Nickelodeon series is actually very good. Yes, its still whimsical and kid friendly, but I’ve been impressed with the amount of thought and depth that’s gone into the plot and characters. I’m jealous of kids today, because its actually better than the cartoon I grew up with, and unlike that one, will hold up when they get older and return to it.